Who: The Beer Store, with King Ursa for strategy and creative, OMD for media.
What: “Whatever the Case May Be,” the first campaign on a new creative platform intended to emphasize the Ontario beer retailer’s service and selection, enabling it to meet consumer needs for any occasion.
When & Where: The campaign is live now, with an emphasis on TV and targeted digital.
Why: The new platform is the first creative work from King Ursa since being named AOR last fall. According to a release introducing the work, it was developed to “speak to existing and new audiences” about the retailer’s expanding selection of products “for all kinds of drinking occasions”—or, in other words, whatever the case may be.
While The Beer Store remains the dominant beer retailer in Ontario, consumers have had more options in recent years, with grocery stores permitted to sell beer and wine, as well as the rise in popularity of alcoholic ready-to-drink alternatives, and craft beer options exploding both at the brewers themselves and through the LCBO.
The Beer Store needed to connect with consumers who have a wide range of tastes and shopping behaviours.
“Thanks to our brewers, we continue to expand our selection year over year, so Ontarians can rely on us for a wide assortment of beer, flavour innovation, and malt-based ready to drink beverages from across Canada and around the world,” said Natasha McVie, The Beer Store’s director of marketing in a release.
How: The 15-second TV / video ads use one of the original ear-worms, the 114-year-old “Colonel Bogey March,” as the music for a series of playful songs about the wide variety and service that beer drinkers can only get at The Beer Store.
One spot focuses just on the beer expertise provided by The Beer Store staff—recommending what beer goes with trout, for example. In others, the lyrics and scenes touch on a number of key benefits: a man who doesn’t like when the beer cooler is beside the potpourri at a grocery store; a woman who can find the seltzer she wants; and a father-son duo who like beer with lots of hops.
According to King Ursa president Cheryl Gosling, the campaign presents The Beer Store’s products in a fun and relatable way. “It gives us an opportunity to speak to its huge range of products, great employees and widening customer base while affirming its positioning as a friendly and approachable retailer.”
The music: “The iconic march created a quirky complement to our contemporary characters marching to The Beer Store,” Gosling told The Message. “The upbeat and optimistic qualities of this track created a fun juxtaposition that brings to life the personalities, lifestyles, sense of humour, and love of beer our audience has. Early media performance results have already shown a significant ad recall lift from our audience.”
The media: Hoping to reach new consumers “outside of their typical audience,” King Ursa worked with OMD Worldwide, to develop targeted contextual executions for different platforms such as sports and gaming sites.
“With the goal of revitalizing our brand in the Ontario market, our strategy was to reach a younger audience than our historical core consumer,” said Ryan Calhoun, associate director of strategy at OMD. “The media landscape has shifted dramatically in the past few years, most notably with our new millennial target.”
And we quote: “Our wide assortment of beers, craft beers, and new flavour innovations, malt-based ready to drink beverages and non-alcoholic beverage choices makes us the ideal destination to shop for beer in Ontario—something our audience might not have realized about The Beer Store versus our competitors. ‘Whatever the case may be,’ we are aspiring to be the destination for beer shoppers.” —Charanya Bala, director of marketing, The Beer Store